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25 Palestinians, 4 Israelis killed as cross-border rocket barrages continue

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This post is being updated to provide latest numbers on casualties.

Grey smoke and fire plumes erupted for the second day in Gaza and nearby Israeli communities after a cross-fire of deadly rocket strikes launched by both Israeli military and Gaza militants.

Gaza’s Health Ministry reported that the death toll in Gaza from Israeli airstrikes was 25. That number includes a Saturday night toll of four when three residential buildings were destroyed in the east of Gaza: two men, a pregnant mother, Falastin Abu Arar, and her 14-month-old infant Seba Abu Arar were killed. The Ministry of Health said a second infant was killed Sunday.

The Israeli assaults were met by Palestinian resistance factions launching more than 500 rockets towards Israeli settlements, killing four people, according to Israeli media outlets.

Body of Seba Abu Arar, killed by Israeli air strike, Gaza City, May 4, 2019. Photo by Mohammed Asad.

One of the buildings destroyed in Gaza was also home to the headquarters of Turkey’s Anadolu Agency and the Prisoners’ Information Office.

About 70 Palestinians were wounded in the attacks, according to the health ministry. Since Saturday, Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip have targeted 200 civilian sites including seven residential buildings.

Mohammed Abu Marasa, sits outside beauty salon destroyed by Israeli forces. Gaza City, May 4, 2019. Photo by Mohammed Asad.

Mohammed Abu Marasa, 27, a hairdresser in a beauty salon, was inspecting the damage of a six-story building destroyed in the al-Khuzundar commercial and residential complex Saturday evening in Gaza City.

“Everything was upset, when we heard the small warning explosions prior to the largest one,” Abu Marasa told Mondoweiss. Three or four ladies with their children ran screaming from the shop at about 21:30, then the shop was flattened.

Usually, the warning rocket explosions prior to the largest one give enough time to allow people to get out of the area.

“This shop was only equipped with beauty supplies that cost me thousands of dollars. I am totally confused if such lipsticks or contour brushes really threaten the Israelis,” Abu Masara said.

Subhi al- Khuzundar. Outside his father’s building, destroyed by Israeli air strike, Gaza City, May 4, 2019. Photo by Mohammed Asad.

Subhi al- Khuzundar, 27, the son of the building owner and a degree-holder in international law, is beginning his married life and was putting the final touches on the couple’s apartment. “Thanks, Israel! I must clap for turning my bride’s and my dreams into dust,” Subhi said hysterically, while clapping his hands.

“Without reading the Torah, I know that it criminalizes attacks that turn simple innocents’ lives into wrecks,” the newlywed told Mondoweiss. “Thanks to these Israeli dreams killers, because tomorrow they will allow some food truck to enter via Gaza crossing to cover their crimes and show their nice humanitarianism to a blinded world.”

Al Khuzundar, building destroyed by Israeli air strike, Gaza City, May 4, 2019. Photo by Mohammed Asad.

Meanwhile, Israel closed its crossings with Gaza for people and goods, as well the fishing zone off the enclave’s shore, until further notice.

Building destroyed by Israeli air strike, Gaza City, May 4, 2019. Photo by Mohammed Asad.

The UN envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Nickolay Mladenov, called on “all parties to immediately de-escalate and return to the understandings of the past few months.”

The last war of 2014 severely damaged Gaza’s already-weakened infrastructure, prompting the UN to warn that the strip would be “uninhabitable” by 2020.

Fighting came after a month-long lull in violence around the blockaded enclave and came while leaders of Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza, were in Egypt for talks aimed at restoring the faltering ceasefire deal.

The spark of fighting began on Friday when two Palestinians were killed by Israeli snipers during the weekly protest at the Israel-Gaza border. Palestinian militants also shot and wounded two Israeli soldiers.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered “massive strikes” on the Gaza Strip.

Armed factions in Gaza, otherwise known as the Joint Operations Room, which include the military wing of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine, vowed on Saturday to “extend its response” if the Israeli army continued to target the strip.

“Our response will be broader and more painful in the event [Israel] extends in aggression, and we will remain the protective shield of our people and our land,” the Joint Operations Room said in a statement.

Egypt’s mediation team, credited with brokering ceasefires in the latest rounds of fighting, were working to prevent any further degradation. “Egypt has stepped up its efforts with Hamas, the Islamic jihad and Israel but there is no conclusion yet,” a Palestinian official familiar with Cairo’s mediation efforts told Reuters.

 

About Ahmad Kabariti

Ahmad Kabariti is a freelance journalist based in Gaza.

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21 Responses

  1. JustJessetr
    JustJessetr on May 5, 2019, 3:47 pm

    The only bit of good news coming out of this is that no one on MW can can say, “Those rockets are harmless to Israelis. “, anymore.

    • eljay
      eljay on May 5, 2019, 6:22 pm

      || JustaJester: The only bit of good news coming out of this is that no one on MW can can say, “Those rockets are harmless to Israelis. “, anymore. ||

      You’re absolutely right: It’s time to end Israel’s decades-long and on-going occupation and colonization of Palestine and to hold all (war) criminals accountable for their past and on-going (war) crimes.

    • Sulphurdunn
      Sulphurdunn on May 5, 2019, 6:42 pm

      Whoever said that?

    • CigarGod
      CigarGod on May 5, 2019, 11:22 pm

      F-16’s, tanks, artillery, starvation, cutting water, electricity, sewage, versus largely homemade rockets.
      Yes…it’s sort of like the lethal ability of a sheperds sling versus a nuke.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso on May 6, 2019, 9:37 am

      @JustJessetr

      Why, it’s utterly outrageous, beyond words!! An illegally, brutally occupied, essentially defenseless indigenous people living in what is aptly described as “the world’s largest outdoor prison,” deprived of the essentials of life, including drinking water, have the audacity to rise up against their Zionist oppressors and actually resort to violent, but in reality, feeble resistance.

      Lest we forget:
      Human Rights Watch, 2005: “…Israel will continue to be an Occupying Power [of the Gaza Strip] under international law and bound by the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention because it will retain effective control over the territory and over crucial aspects of civilian life. Israel will not be withdrawing and handing power over to a sovereign authority – indeed, the word ‘withdrawal’ does not appear in the [2005 disengagement] document at all… The IDF will retain control over Gaza’s borders, coastline, and airspace, and will reserve the right to enter Gaza at will. According to the Hague Regulations, ‘A territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised’. International jurisprudence has clarified that the mere repositioning of troops is not sufficient to relieve an occupier of its responsibilities if it retains its overall authority and the ability to reassert direct control at will.”

      The International Committee of the Red Cross: “The whole of Gaza’s civilian population is being punished for acts for which they bear no responsibility. The closure therefore constitutes a collective punishment imposed in clear violation of Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law. The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, ratified by Israel, bans collective punishment of a civilian population.”

      “In practice, Gaza has become a huge, let me be blunt, concentration camp for right now 1,800,000 people” – Amira Hass, 2015 correspondent for Haaretz, speaking at the Forum for Scholars and Publics at Duke University.

      To quote Dov Weisglass, PM Ariel Sharon’s senior adviser:
      “‘The significance of the [then proposed] disengagement plan [implemented in 2005] is the freezing of the peace process,’ Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s senior adviser Dov Weisglass has told Ha’aretz. ‘And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda….’ Weisglass, who was one of the initiators of the disengagement plan, was speaking in an interview with Ha’aretz for the Friday Magazine. ‘The disengagement is actually formaldehyde,’ he said. ‘It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.’” (Top PM Aide: Gaza Plan Aims to Freeze the Peace Process, Ha’aretz, October 6, 2004)

      • eljay
        eljay on May 6, 2019, 9:53 am

        || Misterioso: @JustJessetr
        Why, it’s utterly outrageous, beyond words!! … ||

        One can image (pro-)rapists being:
        – similarly outraged that the women they kidnap, confine and rape dare occasionally to wield shivs against them (no one can say those shivs are harmless!); but
        – equally unwilling to stop advocating, committing, supporting and/or defending their preferred brand of evil.

  2. CDWard
    CDWard on May 5, 2019, 4:13 pm

    Shorter Bibi-“How dare the prisoners in the Gaza concentration camp resist!”

  3. echinococcus
    echinococcus on May 5, 2019, 4:52 pm

    Justjesse

    You guys crack me up. You start a war and want it to be harmless for you.

    Do you know what that kind of delusion is called in psychiatry? Look it up.

    • JustJessetr
      JustJessetr on May 5, 2019, 7:18 pm

      You intellectual and moral coward. Now that you can’t lie anymore about how lethal the rockets’ potential have always been, now you imply that it never mattered.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer on May 5, 2019, 8:36 pm

        The intellectual coward is you unless you can show anyone who has ever claimed that on this site. I’ve never seen anyone say that. Yes the rockets are impotent in comparison to Israeli munitiions and you require an almost direct hit in order to kill someone.

        Yes they are mere fireworks in comparison. No they don’t cause significant destruction.

        If you can ever find someone who said that Gaza’s rockets are not lethal feel free to post it. In the interim stop making stuff up

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak on May 6, 2019, 3:21 am

        oldgeezer: Yes they are mere fireworks in comparison.
        —————————————————————————–

        Perhaps then it would be better if they were not fired off at all, since by doing so the Palestinians predictably suffer terrible human and material destruction, while the Israelis predictably suffer relatively little and gain major propaganda talking points.

      • Misterioso
        Misterioso on May 6, 2019, 10:19 am

        @JustJessetr

        Avi Shlaim nails it:

        https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/07/ten-years-first-war-gaza-operation-cast-lead-israel-brute-force

        “Ten years after the first war on Gaza, Israel still plans endless brute force” by Avi Shlaim, The Guardian, January 7/19

        “Operation Cast Lead killed 1,417 people. Chillingly, the generals call their repeated bombardments ‘mowing the lawn.’”

        “This month marks the 10th anniversary of the first major military assault on the 2 million Palestinians of the Gaza Strip. After its unilateral withdrawal [**] from Gaza in 2005, Israel turned the area into the biggest open-door prison on Earth. The two hallmarks of Israel’s treatment of Gaza since then have been mendacity and the utmost brutality towards civilians.

        “On 27 December 2008, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead, pounding the densely populated strip from the air, sea and land for 22 days. It was not a war or even ‘asymmetric warfare’ but a one-sided massacre. Israel had 13 dead; the Gazans had 1,417 dead, including 313 children, and more than 5,500 wounded. According to one estimate 83% of the casualties were civilians. Israel claimed to be acting in self-defence, protecting its civilians against Hamas rocket attacks. The evidence, however, points to a deliberate and punitive war of aggression. Israel had a diplomatic alternative, but it chose to ignore it and to resort to brute military force.

        “In June 2008 Egypt had brokered a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the Islamic resistance movement that rules Gaza. The agreement called on both sides to cease hostilities and required Israel to gradually ease the illegal blockade it had imposed on the Gaza Strip in June 2007. This ceasefire worked remarkably well – until Israel violated it by a raid on 4 November in which six Hamas fighters were killed. The monthly average of rockets fired from Gaza on Israel fell from 179 in the first half of 2008 to three between June and October.

        “The story of the missed opportunity to avoid war was told to me by Robert Pastor, a professor of political science at the American University in Washington DC and a senior adviser on conflict resolution in the Middle East at the Carter Center NGO. Here is what Pastor told me over the phone and later confirmed in an email to Dr Mary Elizabeth King, another close associate of President Carter, on 8 December 2013, a month before Pastor’s death.

        “Pastor met Khaled Mashaal, the Hamas politburo chief, in Damascus in December 2008. Mashaal handed him a written proposal on how to restore the ceasefire. In effect, it was a proposal to renew the June 2008 ceasefire agreement on the original terms. Pastor then travelled to Tel Aviv and met Major General (Ret) Amos Gilad, head of the defence ministry’s political affairs bureau. Gilad promised that he would communicate the proposal directly to defence minister Ehud Barak, and expected to have an answer either that evening or the following day. The next day, Pastor phoned Gilad’s office three times and got no response. Shortly afterwards, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead.

        “In the email he dictated to his son on his deathbed, Pastor authorised me to publicise this story and to attribute it to him because ‘it’s an important moment in history that Israel needs to accept because Israel had an alternative to war in December 2008.’ It was indeed a critical moment and it conveyed a clear message: if Israel’s real purpose was to protect its civilians, all it needed to do was to follow Hamas’s example by observing the ceasefire.

        “Israel’s conduct during the first Gaza war was placed under an uncompromising lens by the UN Human Rights Council’s independent fact-finding mission headed by Richard Goldstone, the distinguished South African judge who happened to be both a Jew and a Zionist. Goldstone and his team found that both Hamas and the Israel Defence Forces had committed violations of the laws of war by deliberately harming civilians. The IDF received more severe strictures than Hamas on account of the bigger scale and seriousness of its violations.

        “The Goldstone team investigated 36 incidents involving the IDF. It found 11 incidents in which Israeli soldiers launched direct attacks against civilians with lethal outcomes; seven where civilians were shot leaving their homes waving white flags; a ‘direct and intentional’ attack on a hospital; numerous incidents where ambulances were prevented from attending to the severely injured; and nine attacks on civilian infrastructure with no military significance, such as flour mills, sewage works, and water wells – all part of a campaign to deprive civilians of basic necessities. In the words of the report, much of this extensive damage was ‘not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.’

        “In conclusion, the 575-page report noted that while the Israeli government sought to portray its operations as essentially a response to rocket attacks in the exercise of the right to self-defence, ‘the Mission itself considers the plan to have been directed, at least in part, at a different target: the people of Gaza as a whole.’ Under the circumstances ‘the Mission concludes that what occurred in just over three weeks at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 was a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorise a civilian population, radically diminish its local economic capacity both to work and to provide for itself, and to force upon it an ever-increasing sense of dependency and vulnerability.’

        “The claim that the operation was designed to ‘terrorise a civilian population’ needs underlining. Terrorism is the use of force against civilians for political purposes. By this definition Operation Cast Lead was an act of state terrorism. The political aim was to force the population to repudiate Hamas, which had won a clear majority in the elections of January 2006.

        “Operation Cast Lead is emblematic of everything that is wrong with Israel’s approach to Gaza. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a political conflict to which there is no military solution. Yet Israel persists in shunning diplomacy and relying on brute military force – and not as a last resort but as a first resort. Force is the default setting. And there is a popular Israeli saying that goes with it: ‘If force doesn’t work, use more force!’

        “Operation Cast Lead was just the first in a series of Israeli mini-wars on Gaza. It was followed by Operation Pillar of Defence in November 2012 and Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014. The fancy names given to these operations were fraudulent, dressing up offensive attacks on defenceless civilians and civilian infrastructure in the sanctimonious language of self-defence. They are typical examples of Orwellian double-speak. UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon called the Israeli attack on 1 August 2014 on Rafah, in which a large number of civilians sheltering in UN schools were killed, ‘a moral outrage and a criminal act.’ This description applies equally to Israel’s entire policy of waging war on the inmates of the Gaza prison.

        “Israeli generals talk about their recurrent military incursions into Gaza as ‘mowing the lawn.’ This operative metaphor implies a task that has to be performed regularly and mechanically and without end. It also alludes to the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians and the inflicting of damage on civilian infrastructure that takes several years to repair.

        “’Mowing the lawn’ is a chilling euphemism but it provides a clue as to the deeper purpose behind Israel’s steadfast shunning of diplomacy and repeated resort to brute military force in response to all manifestations of lawful resistance and peaceful protest on its southern border. Under this grim rubric, there can be no lasting political solution: the next war is always just a matter of time.”

        **Under international law, the Gaza Strip is still illegally occupied by Israel, e.g., in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, “Collective punishment.”

  4. Kay24
    Kay24 on May 5, 2019, 5:06 pm

    Apparently the rockets are in retaliation to the brutal killing of two young Palestinians, the latest in an ongoing massacre of Palestinians, referred to as a slow genocide by some.

    The Palestinians have every right to protest their suffering.

    • mondonut
      mondonut on May 5, 2019, 6:55 pm

      @Kay

      Sure. The escalation and ensuing rocket barrage had nothing at all to do with an attack on Israeli soldiers. And nothing at all to do with Iran and its proxies.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer on May 5, 2019, 8:41 pm

        Israeli soldiers are legitimate targets wherever they are.

        Their targetting had nothing to do with the hundreds of people murdered by the cowards in the idf this year alone supported by it’s morally bankrupt supporters.

        ” had nothing at all to do with an attack on Israeli soldiers. ”

        Even if you want to ignore a longer period of history the first step in the current round was Israel killing Palestinians

      • mondonut
        mondonut on May 5, 2019, 10:48 pm

        @oldgeezer , Israeli soldiers are legitimate targets wherever they are.

        You are correct, they are. And they are the obvious target if the intent is to instigate another round of combat. Congratulations, you and yours got exactly what you wanted.

      • Misterioso
        Misterioso on May 6, 2019, 10:46 am

        @mondonut

        “The escalation and ensuing rocket barrage had nothing at all to do with an attack on Israeli soldiers.”

        The “rocket barrage” had everything to do with indigenous Palestinian Arabs living in what is correctly described as the “world’s largest outdoor prison” under the boot of brutal Zionist oppressors. They refuse to continue suffering along with their children under increasingly unbearable conditions while deprived of the necessities of life, including even drinking water!!!

        The horrors of the Gaza Strip bring to mind European Jews forced to live in ghetto prisons surrounded and often attacked by their Nazi oppressors. Not surprisingly and entirely justified, like today’s Palestinians in the occupied Gaza Strip, they also rose up and resisted knowing full well it would be futile.

      • Kay24
        Kay24 on May 6, 2019, 4:53 pm

        First end the occupation and stop stealing lands. The Palestinians are protesting because they suffer under Israel’s brutal occupation, and the endless violence.

      • mondonut
        mondonut on May 6, 2019, 5:59 pm

        @Kay, First end the occupation…

        Sure thing Kay. Hamas deems all if Israeli to be occupied land. So your prescription is to first make Israel go away. What a great plan.

  5. Ossinev
    Ossinev on May 6, 2019, 10:52 am

    Well the Zios are 99.9% all about holocaust retribution as in it`s now our turn to do the war crimes bit. They can`t really get back at the Germans and besides the German armed forces even in their post WW2″ reduced status would make short work of them. So it has be be Palestinians,Lebanese,Iranian,Syrian “terrorists” and all from high up in the sky you understand or with far range missiles or tank shells. The most moral would sooon reveal themslves as being the most cowardly and most pathetic in any given boots on the ground true warfare conflict , pre-emptive “defense” strike or not.

    Surrounded by a sea of loathing and increasingly drowning in an ocean of contempt – who would want to be an Israeli Zionist. More to the point what responsible parent(s) would want to emigrate to Zioland and raise their children in such a paranoid brainwashed dystopia where endless war is the past , present and future and everyone else is to blame(sob!).

  6. klm90046
    klm90046 on May 6, 2019, 6:16 pm

    It used to be 100 to one. Now it’s 25 to 4. Are Palestinians getting better at it? If things keep moving in this direction, Palestinians may even be able to launch their war of independence.

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